Kids are masters at being in the now. Ask them what you may have said earlier in the day, or what project they did at school, and most likely they will look at you like you’re an alien from another galaxy. Kids thrive on dashing around, running there, finessing themselves into nooks and crannies in any given space, constantly firing off inquiries, transforming into animals, pretending their dogs, cats, bunnies, or babies, finding creative ways to meld material together into an art project, connecting Legos to make a space ship, etc. You get the picture…whatever stirs their imagination or will ignite their curiosity, and they’re off to the races. They interact and learn about the world around them through the Now.
And as a parent you may ask your five, six, or seven year old, what they did in school today – and mostly likely you may hear: “I don’t know.” Not because they may be avoiding or dancing around the question, but mainly because their so focused on what is happening in the moment. As adults we need to reassure we are most specific with our own inquiries. For example we can ask them if they drew a picture or worked on a puzzle with a friend at school, as this may provoke a more comprehensible response, while fostering closeness in relating.
Layers on layers of continuum experience start to build a foundation of learning in these early years, and the majority of it occurs in the presence of play. Their minds are deeply entrenched in the moment of “doing.” The act of “doing” an activity is the driving force of optimal conditions for learning. When this spontaneity and gaiety to find out what the next experiment, project, or experience is being unveiled around each corner of their busy lives, will life then provide ripe lessons and discovery. As patient adults, willing to take the time out to stop and listen, we can learn much from kids attentive presence in, the Now.